The Unfortunate Racism of Some “Animal Lovers”

I posted an essay from this site on Facebook concerning Andre Robinson, the man who kicked the cat named King, and who faces anticruelty charges in New York. The point was simple: What Andre Robinson did was terrible but was no different from what non-vegans support and participate directly in every single day.

I got comments which indicated that many people simply missed the whole point:

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These people apparently do not see the problem with maintaining that we can respect the fundamental rights of nonhumans at the same time we treat nonhumans and things and impose suffering and death on them to satisfy our palate pleasure or fashion sense.

I got dozens of comments (most of which I deleted) calling Robinson names, such as:

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I wonder if these people regard their non-vegan relatives or friends, or themselves, if they are not vegans, as “assholes,” “Knob Heads,” “cruel fucker[s],” “mother FUCKER[S],” “fucking pieces of shit,” “fucking cunts,” etc. or whether they refer to non-vegans in ableist terms, such as “retarded” morons.

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I wonder if she thinks that all her non-vegan friends and relatives (or she herself if she is not vegans) are all “pricks” who will get their “karma.”

There were dozens of these sorts of comments.

And I got many wishing him harm and expressing violence, such as:

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I wonder if these people think such things with respect to non-vegans.

And I got overtly racist comments–on, including:

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Please note that the last comment had a reference to the Ku Klux Klan. Absolutely shocking.

This overt racism has characterized other high visibility animal cases involving other people of color, including Michael Vick, Kisha Curtis, and the children who tortured the cat in Patterson, New Jersey.

We should all be upset by what Robinson did to King. But we should also remember that what he did was in no way morally different from what non-vegans directly support every single day. And however upset we are with anyone, we should never use racially charge language to voice our criticism.

And it is sad that so many people are so conceptually challenged that they cannot see that there is no morally significant difference between Andre Robinson and anyone who consumes nonhuman animals.


If you are not vegan, please go vegan. Veganism is about nonviolence. First and foremost, it’s about nonviolence to other sentient beings. But it’s also about nonviolence to the earth and nonviolence to yourself.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University

©2014 Gary L. Francione

ADDENDUM, November 9, 2014

I did another post on Robinson on November 8.

In addition to the endless parade of ignorant name calling and expressions of violence, there were more racist, homophobic, and misogynistic comments, such as:

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